United States agrees guided missiles for Qatar before Trump talks

Trump had followed the lead of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in taking a hard line against Qatar, saying the country needed to scale back ties with Iran and stop funding extremism.

President Donald Trump is hosting the ruling emir of Qatar for a White House meeting Tuesday, who has since taken steps to address USA concerns, even allowing Treasury Department officials into its central bank to improve accountability to prevent terror funding.

America's allies in the Persian Gulf are feuding with Qatar.

The two leaders agreed in a telephone call that members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council "can and should do more to increase coordination with each other and with the United States", the White House said in a statement. Qatar denies all these prices.

Trump and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates agreed on Friday to push for unity among Gulf nations, the White House said, amid a bitter standoff between Qatar and other US allies in the region.

"He's a friend of mine" Trump said effusively.

Trump had initially advocated for an economic blockade on Qatar, but aides eventually convinced him to take a more moderate approach given the strategic importance of the Al Udeid Air Base outside Doha in U.S. Middle East operations.

More news: Canada hockey-bus crash leaves 15 dead, Alaska teams stunned

"I want to make something very clear, Mr. President", he said.

His visit comes after Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman conducted a successful three-week USA visit.As a warmup to the visit, the State Department approved the sale of 5,000 Advance Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) to Qatar, including 5,000 high explosive warheads.

Trump cast Qatar's military purchases as part of an economy-juicing opportunity for the U.S.

The economic boycott of Qatar reportedly went into effect a month after a meeting between the Qatari finance minister and Charles Kushner, the father of White House advisor Jared, in which he sought a cash infusion for Kushner Cos.' financially strapped 666 Fifth Ave.

The US State Department has given the green light to a $300 million sale of guided missiles to Qatar as Persian Gulf Arab states are stepping up purchasing state-of-the-art weaponry amid their diplomatic standoff.

Information for this article was contributed by Ken Thomas of The Associated Press.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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